When Internet becomes commonplace, the world will become a smaller place where anything and everything will communicate with each other.
This is why Internet of Things app development has become such a hot topic in the recent days.
“In 2016, global spending on the IoT was approximately $737 billion. IDC predicts that by 2020, it will touch $1.29 trillion with a CAGR of 15.6 percent.”
This make us wonder how much does it cost to build an iot app? As a Digital Transformations company that has developed and launched Iot apps for healthcare, connected cars and connected manufacturing, we feel we are the best fits to answer this question.
The Multidimensional Impact of IoT App Development
There are two things to consider in IoT app development. The cost of building an iot app is also directly reliant on these two things. They are:
- App concept
- Proof of concept
The App Concept, in simple terms is the idea of the app. It should pertain to an industry, like healthcare, manufacturing, logistics, retail, automobiles, etc. The idea should be to connect and automate a process which was earlier dependent on manual processes.
Example: Collecting pressure, volume or heat readings from factory equipment
The idea should be conceived in such a manner that it can be collaborated or integrated with existing mobile applications for extensive usage and scalability.
The Proof of Concept (PoC) is like a feasibility report for your app concept. It establishes the workflow of your app and proves that it is possible to scale the concept into actual operations. Ideally, the PoC will be implemented in a real-life scenario where its commercial viability can be measured and recorded.
Example: A manufacturing plant for automobiles that wants to automate its manufacturing workflow at each stage of operations at body shop, paint shop and dispatch.
Once you have sketched out the app concept and proof of concept you will have a precise idea of your app development requirements, like:
- App in ioS, Android or Windows
Challenges in IoT App Development
Now comes the tough part. Unlike ordinary mobile app development, developing apps for IoT devices calls for unique set of abilities and infrastructure. The choice of hardware is the primary challenge.
The hardware should be something which has a tiny physical size and also can run for a long span of time without running out of power. The sensor must also have a low power appetite to meet the low cost expectations of an enterprise.
IoT devices primarily connect over a variety of connectivity protocols like Bluetooth, Wifi, Zigbee, RFID, Infrared, etc.
There are also other protocols followed for device identification, sensors, security and devices. The image below depicts how a typical IoT ecosystem is distributed.
Picking the right mix from the above is one of the toughest challenges in getting started with IoT development. The cost of building an IoT solution is also directly proportional to the choices made.
How Long Does it Bring an IoT to Market?
Wireframing, developing and deploying an IoT market is a hypothetical matter. There is no one answer which fits all situations. Depending on the app’s complexity, hardware used, software configurations required, the time required will vary. Some other factors which determine the time to market include:
- Project size
- Features involved
- Dynamic changes
- New tech to be included
- Visual Identification
Further, the cost to develop iot app will also increase or decrease with relevance to the teams involved. For a simple IoT app that can connect a Thing to a mobile app or cloud server will need a basic team consisting of:
- 2 developers
- 1 UI/UX designer
- 1 QA engineer
- 1 Project manager
For advanced IoT app development, the team requirement will include:
- 3 to 4 developers
- 1 UI/UX designer
- 1 Business Analyst
- 1 Backend developer
- 1 Administrator
- 1 Panel Designer
- 1 QA engineer
- 1 Project Manager
Overall, the cost estimation for IoT app development can be summarized as under:
- Basic App - $3,000 to $8,000
- Complex app - $8,000 to $15,000
- Highly sophisticated app - $15,000 onwards
Is this a final quote for iot app development cost? Not exactly. Every mobile app, especially one designed to work with IoT will have dynamic pricing.